Handpresso Portable Espresso Maker
A manual Espresso machine designed for the outdoors. The Handpresso can be used with fresh ground coffee or with E.S.E pods.
A must-have gadget for coffee lovers with a passion for travel and a life on the go.
- Simple to use and easy to clean
- Manual pump – No power needed
- Pressure gauge (16 Bar)
- Compatible with E.S.E coffee pods
- Basket for fresh grounds (7-10g)
- 2-year guarantee
Pros and Cons
Where to Buy?
2-in-1 Handpresso – Full Review
As a lover of portable gadgets and good coffee, this product has got my heart racing with excitement. This could also be explained by the copious amounts of Espresso I’ve consumed over the last week. Either way, I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the Handpresso review.
Design and Build Quality
The unit I have for review is the black version of the 2-in-1 Handpresso which is also available in silver or white. It comes inside a high-quality presentation box with a well-illustrated multi-language user guide.
On opening the box, I was pleased to see that the Handpresso has very few components to worry about. As well as the unit, there’s a basket for ground coffee and a pre-installed E.S.E pod adapter.
The carry case and espresso cups do not come with the unit but are available to buy separately.
Handling the Handpresso for the first time had me admiring its robust build-quality while at the same time feeling a little bothered by the weight. I have absolutely no doubts about its durability, If dropped from a height, I’d fear for the floor before being concerned about damaging the product itself.
|22 x 10 x 7 cm||480g (16.9oz)||16 Bar||50ml|
Comparing the build-quality against other portable espresso machines like the Minipresso or the Staresso, it’s in a league of its own. The Handpresso has very few plastic components and those that are, feel thick and hard wearing. While this is great for most outdoor uses, as an ultra-light backpacker, every gram counts. Personally speaking, I’d happily sacrifice durability to shave some extra weight off.
For those less obsessed with ultra-light hiking gear, this product has very little (if any) flaws. The simple design works beautifully and I found it easier to use than any other manual espresso maker I’ve previously tested.
How to use the Handpresso with the E.S.E pod adapter
If you haven’t already watched my demo video, here is a link to the part where I make an espresso using the E.S.E pod adapter.
- Make sure the infusion button is up.
- Pump the handle just over 20 times until the pressure gauge is in the green.
- Remove the portafilter and pour in the hot water to the underside of the E.S.E pod adapter.
- Add the E.S.E (Easy Serving Espresso) pod.
- Screw the portafilter back on and flip it over.
- Wait a few seconds for the water to soak through the coffee.
- Press down the infusion button.
- When you’ve extracted enough coffee, raise the infusion button.
Thumbs up for the E.S.E pod adapter!
I wasn’t expecting the E.S.E pods to produce an espresso anywhere near the quality of freshly ground beans, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! I compared the Illy E.S.E pods with freshly ground Illy beans and there really wasn’t much of a difference in taste. What’s more, there is absolutely no prep work required and zero mess to clean up.
As much as I obsess over grinding my own beans, I can see this as my preferred option for hiking trips (despite the extra cost). I’ll save weight and space by not needing my ceramic grinding mill. The process will be easier and more consistent with minimal impact on the enjoyment of my coffee.
Using the Handpresso with the Ground Coffee Adapter
All the steps are pretty much the same as above except you’ll be adding the coffee basket instead of an E.S.E pod. The real challenge comes in the preparation of your basket, so here are some of my tips:
- Use a ceramic/burr coffee grinder. This will allow you to find the correct coarseness. It needs to be fairly fine, I use a Hario Mini and it’s a couple of clicks from the finest setting.
- While the E.S.E pods come with 7 grams of coffee, try aiming for between 8 and 10 grams.
- Using over 7 grams will require you to tamper the grounds a couple of times to fit them in, (you can use the handle of the Handpresso for this.)
- You’ll know when the grind and tamper is right by the amount of time it takes to extract the espresso (try aiming for around 20 seconds)
- If the espresso is too strong try using less coffee grounds or a coarser grind, if it’s too weak do the opposite.
Some other useful Handpresso tips
- If you’ve got enough hot water, it’s nice to preheat the Handpresso and the espresso cup before the extraction. Even if the water is boiling hot going in, it will soon lose temperature when it comes in contact with the reservoir.
- Try filling the reservoir up as much as possible to limit the amount of air trapped inside.
- If you’re steady enough, you could attempt to continue adding pumps during the extraction. The pressure does fall from the initial 16 bars. With some careful pumps, you can maintain a fairly high pressure throughout.
Would I recommend the Handpresso?
Having used the Handpresso over the last week I simply cannot recommend it enough. I’ve been hugely impressed with the product and it’s been a pleasure to use. The process is simple and consistent, especially once you’ve discovered the correct weight, grind coarseness, and tampering. It produces a very flavoursome espresso with a decent crema which in my opinion is plenty good enough to use at home as well as on a hike.